Thursday, February 19, 2009

Simple, Natural Child Safety Lock

We have had a heck of a time keeping our kids out of the cupboards. We have tried several traditional plastic child safety locks all with completely disappointing results. Some of the locks broke within weeks. In one case our older son proudly showed us how to crack a padlock style lock while the younger son looked on, waited till the lock was returned to the cupboard and immediately cracked the lock himself informed by the recent demo.

For a while we went without but the little one is fast and has an uncanny talent for locating the most dangerous object in any environment within seconds. Out of desperation one day, really just to slow him down in his quest for knowledge of the dangers stored under the sink, I took a piece of eucalyptus branch that was trimmed from our bed top bivouac and made a quick impromptu safety lock.

To do this yourself, take a piece of twine twice as long as what you'll need to reach across the cabinet handles, around the stick and dangle down a bit. Fold the twine in half and tie a knot (or three) at the open end. Put the knots through the loop (folded end) with the stick inside and pull tight. Next make another loop around the stick and pull the knots through again. Now you have a stick with a piece of twine tied to it.

To fasten the lock, slide the stick through the handles of the cupboard. Bring the twine across the handles, under the stick and up behind it. Next bring the twine back across but go behind the piece that stretches across the handles. Now firmly bring the string down and toward the open end of the stick and let go. Voila! Works for us anyway.

This design has proven more effective than any other we have tried yet. The older boy can open it without any trouble and since it doesn't pose a challenge he leaves it alone. The younger boy can't figure it out yet, probably doesn't have the manual dexterity to get the string unwound and has taken up a new tactic of waiting until we open the cupboard to launch a raid - manageable.

We prefer how it looks and it is easier to operate than any other plastic designs we've tried, the cost is practically nothing and it is 100% compostable.


  1. Ha, this is great! I can't wait to launch apricot branch locks when the youngling hits the ambulatory milestone.


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